Video job interviews have become an increasingly common part of the hiring process, and almost a necessity whilst we are practicing social distancing during Covid-19.
Whilst there are obvious differences between an in-person interview and one through a screen, a lot of the standard rules still apply.
Below are 13 pointers that we would recommend you follow to ensure you make the most of a video interview.
1. Be Prepared
As important in-person as it is over a video call, come prepared. Read up on the business that you’re interviewing for. Visit their website, get familiar with the work they do and what their culture is like. If you have a job description, read through it carefully and think about how your experience aligns with what they are looking for and examples you can pick out.
2. Dress to impress
Gage what the company culture is like from their website, and dress one notch above what the company’s typical attire is. Wear solid colours as stripes and complex patters can look awful on video. Research also suggests wearing shoes has a positive psychological effect in preparing you for an interview.
3. Make sure you’re HD Ready
Prioritise the camera, not the screen. This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s most important that the interviewer can see you clearly, not the other way round. Choose the devise with the best camera in your possession. Poor image quality is immediately apparent.
4. Blank Canvas
Pay careful attention to your background and perfect the lighting. This can be tricky in the home environment, but try to find somewhere that is well lit, with a plain background. It’s best to position two lights diagonally in front of you and eliminate any background light (like a window behind you).
5. Make a cheat sheet
What’s not on the camera the interviewer can’t see. If you need inspiration or a reminder to ask a specific question, pop a post-it note behind the camera as a prompt. Take the home advantage and utilise the interview conditions.
6. Do a tech test
Download any necessary software for the call well in advance. It’s sensible to do this on more than one device to ensure you have a backup just in case. Do a road test, check the audio is clear and use earbuds or headphones. Onboard computer audio is usually lower in quality, and in any interview clear communication is key.
7. No distractions
On both sides of the camera, avoid distractions. The last thing you want is for either party to get distracted by something in the room, or background noises. Do your best to put distance between where you set up and any noisy members of the household, including pets.
8. Warm up
Nerves are natural and sometimes hard to shake. Being cooped up indoors can add to any anxiety you’re feeling too. Do some exercise to shake out the nerves, get the energy levels up and get in the mood to talk.
9. Early bird
Don’t be late! Start your video early, show up on time. Being stuck in traffic can no longer be an excuse, but technology will do it’s best to hold you up. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get set up so you can sort out any tech issues. It’s a simple way to ensure a good first impression, but just as easy to start on the wrong foot if you're not ready at kick off.
10. Bring personality
Displaying that you have the skills for a role will keep you in the running, showing your personality will make you stand out. Culture fit, attitude and personality are hugely significant factors in a hiring process. Be yourself, be confident, and show personality.
11. Stay engaged
Look at the camera as much as possible, not the other person. Try to position the screen as close to the camera as possible so it doesn’t feel too unnatural. To make that easier, make sure the camera is at eye level. Stack books under your device if necessary.
Good body language such as nodding, smiling, and maintaining good posture goes a long way too.
12. Slow and steady wins the race
Take. Your. Time. It’s so important to speak clearly and slowly.
This point is relevant for in-person interviews, but even more so over video. Taking your time can settle any nerves and give you time to deliver clear and concise points, avoiding rambling. But also remember, digital connections can sometimes be delayed or have slight interference too. To avoid talking over the interviewer, leave a pause at their end of their question before answering.
13. Sign off strong
As the interview concludes think about pertinent questions you can ask. If you can base that around something the interviewer has discussed during the call that’s great, otherwise have a couple ready on your cheat sheet ready to ask. Lastly, as you sign off (and this might sound obvious) but thank the interviewer for the opportunity. It's always an advantage to come across as polite and gracious.
Good luck with winning the virtual room.